Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s Weight Loss Program is New Jersey’s First Comprehensive Center with Adolescent and Obesity Medicine Qualifications   

Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s Weight Loss Program is New Jersey’s First Comprehensive Center with Adolescent and Obesity Medicine Qualifications

Patients seeking surgical treatment for obesity and its related conditions in New Jersey have a high-quality choice for receiving care at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest patient safety and quality standards. Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s bariatric surgery center is the first in the state to be accredited as a Comprehensive Center with Adolescent and Obesity Medicine Qualifications by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint Quality Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 93 million adults in the United States are affected by obesity and that number continues to increase. In 2020, the obesity prevalence rate among New Jersey adults was 28.6 percent compared to 32.2 percent for U.S. adults and obesity has more than tripled among children and adolescents in the state since the 1970s. “Obesity increases the risk of people acquiring diseases and other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, among other health risks,” said Seth Kipnis, M.D., FACS, director of Bariatric and Robotic Surgery, Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “These conditions can lead to an early death. Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality care, whether surgical or medical, so that adult and adolescent patients lose weight safely and improve their well-being.”

The MBSAQIP Standards, Optimal Resources for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, ensure that metabolic and bariatric patients receive multidisciplinary medical care, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. MBSAQIP-Accredited centers offer preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for patients with obesity.

“I’m happy to see the weight loss program at Jersey Shore achieve this comprehensive accreditation, a first for our state,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Our network continues to advance healthcare across New Jersey thanks to the dedication and expertise of clinicians throughout our network.”

Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s commitment to quality care begins with expertly trained staff and the leadership of an experienced bariatric surgeon. The program is tasked with continuously reviewing surgical data as they continue improving the structure and outcomes expertise necessary to provide safe, efficacious, and high-quality care to all metabolic and bariatric patients.

“To earn New Jersey’s first Comprehensive Center with Adolescent and Obesity Medicine Qualifications accreditation, our team met essential criteria for staffing, training, facility infrastructure and patient care pathways, ensuring its ability to support patients with obesity,” said Vito Buccellato, MPA, LNHA, president and chief hospital executive, Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital. “The team also participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its surgical outcomes and identifying opportunities for quality improvement. I’m proud of their demonstrated commitment to providing the highest quality care for our patients.”

After applying for MBSAQIP Accreditation, centers undergo an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon who reviews the center's structure, processes, and clinical outcomes data. Centers that earn accreditation are awarded a specific designation level, depending on how many patients it serves annually, critical care capabilities, the types of procedures provided, and whether it provides care to patients under the age of 18.

“This accreditation, a first for New Jersey, adds to the long list of high-quality accreditations and accolades Jersey Shore has achieved this year, including being named one of Healthgrades’ America's 250 Best Hospitals,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, regional president, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “I couldn’t be more proud of the weight loss program’s team.”

Metabolic and bariatric surgery has proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to obesity.* Working together, the ACS and the ASMBS have developed accreditation standards for metabolic and bariatric surgery to assist patients with obesity in identifying centers that provide optimal patient care.

For more information about services, call 732-897-2300 or visit www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/en/services/bariatrics.

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